Happy New Year to all our members and welcome to the first newsletter of 2020.
Anniversaries in 2020:

50 years – Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ album issued  – 26 Feb   1970
75 years – End of World War 11  –   1945
75 years – Creation of the United Nations  – 26 June 1945
75 years – Death of Anne Frank – March   1945
80 years – Death of Paul Klee – 29 June 1940
150 years – Birth of Lenin – 22 April 1870
150 years – Death of Charles Dickens  – 9 June   1870
200 years – Birth of John Tenniel –  28 Feb   1820
250 years – Death of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo – 27 Mar  1770
300 years – Birth of Giovanni Battista Piranese –  4 Oct      1720
500 years – Death of Raphael –  6 April   1520
2500 years – Battle of Thermopylae- 480 BC   

Annual General Meeting 
The Club held it’s 87th AGM on December 21st. This was very well attended and covered a review of the year’s activities, club finances, exhibitions and the election of the committee. We have had a positive year, attracting new members and holding a number of successful exhibitions. Our membership numbers are now at the highest level for 10 years. Evelyn Howson was re-elected as Chair and Lynda Merrett was formally appointed to the committee to assist with publicity, especially social media. Dawn Niven stood down from her role as Exhibitions Organiser and was thanked for her many years of tremendous work in this role. A reminder of the current committee members and their roles is as follows:

President:                               Martin Bowden
Chair:                                       Evelyn Howson
Secretary:                               Paul Johnson
Treasurer/Membership:      David Hooper
Exhibitions:                            Debby Hooper / Vacancy
Talks:                                       Lynne Mumford
Website/Publicity:                Leanne Courtney-Crowe and  Lynda Merrett

We are seeking a replacement for Dawn and some offers of help have been received. Hopefully we will be able to fill the exhibitions vacancy in the coming weeks and also to get some more people involved in supporting the Club’s activities.

Coffee Morning
Our coffee mornings have proved to be a popular innovation and we will be continuing these in 2020. As well as providing an additional social event they have also helped us attract new members. Our next coffee morning will be on Saturday 1st February at the Exmouth Arms on Bath Road, 10:00 – 12:00 hrs. Please come along and join us.


The Club held 3 successful exhibitions in 2019.  Two were at the Cheltenham Market on Bath Road and one in the Gardens Gallery in Montpellier. Over the two exhibitions on Bath Road our members sold nearly £5,000 of art work and 2,000 people viewed our work and learnt about the Club.

Unfortunately the Bath Road venue has now closed as the site is being redeveloped. It is a continual challenge to find suitable venues for our exhibitions and Debby Hooper and Dawn Niven have been busy in recent months trying to find new venues for 2020.  The Malthouse Collective just outside Stroud has an exhibition area and we have secured this venue for the whole of April. In addition we have decided to return to Lower Slaughter Village Hall and have booked two weeks in the early summer. Our current exhibition dates for 2020 are therefore as follows:

Malthouse Collective, Stroud                    1 – 30 April – Due to further information this may not go ahead due to venue refebishment
Village Hall, Lower Slaughter                     27 May – 9 June

Next Saturday Talks
The Autumn series of Saturday talks were very well attended. The New Year series starts on 18th January with a demonstration by Andy Watt. Andy is a local artist who has taught Art for many years and has now become a full time Artist. He mainly paints wonderful, colourful abstract landscapes in oils, and will talk about his inspirations and demonstrate how, through the process of mark-making, drawing and the use of mixed-media, his work organically develops.

The schedule for the rest of the year is as follows:
15th February                 Sheila Bryant                     Charcoal and rub out portrait
21st March                       Tracey-Jane Rees             Brusho
18th April                         Caroline Green                 Pastel and pen animal painting
16th May                           Conrad Clarke                   Topic tbc
20th June                          Geoff Tristram                  Talk ‘A lifetime waiting for paint to dry’.

Recent Demonstrations/Talks 

Mike Duckering – Saturday 15th September 2019
Mike Duckering can’t remember a time when he didn’t paint. However, he recognised the need to earn a living and trained as an architect. He became a full time artist when he retired and obtained a BA Hons in Fine Art from the University of Gloucestershire. He has been based at the Lansdown Art Studios in Cheltenham since 2013. He often does additional art courses to keep fresh with new ideas and techniques. He normally works in oils and develops his work over several stages. For the demonstration this wouldn’t be practical so Mike was working with acrylic paint.

Mike explained that all his work starts with a subject, even if it is an abstract work. His process involves an initial sketch which is then blocked in with a brush to confirm the basic composition and colours. He then works in layers of oil paint with a palette knife. At each stage he will reassess the picture scrapping off some of the previous layer of paint and applying more. His pictures can involve several layers developed in this way and the final result may bear little or no resemblance to the starting point. He referred to the artist Frank Auerbach who was famous for the large numbers of paint layers that he used and was quoted as saying ‘to produce a great painting you have to destroy a good one’.

Mike had just been painting in the Marche region of Italy with Devon based artist James Tatum. As the subject of his demonstration he used a sketch done in the main piazza of the village where they were staying. Once the painting was blocked in by brush Mike moved on to using a palette knife. Using a palette knife means he is less able to fiddle and add details. He tries to separate himself from the original image and focus on the painting and it’s composition. He is not bothered about accurately representing the original scene. Mike worked on the picture showing how he used the palette knife and gradually developed the image to convey the feel of the location. Mike provided a fascinating insight into his approach to painting and the process he has developed focussed on the perception of places and his visual interpretation of how they feel.

Richard Webb – Saturday 20th October 2019
October’s demonstration was provided by Richard Webb of ‘Handcut Originals’. Richard is based near Worcester and produces art based on paper cuts, collage and mixed media. At art college he studied graphic design and by profession he is a freelance graphic designer. His work on paper cuts started 5 years ago when his wife, who liked a picture he had done of an apple tree, encouraged him to produce some more work and show it at the local Applefest event. He was pleasantly surprised at how well these sold and encouraged him to develop this art form further. He now regularly does art and craft events and displays his work in galleries.

Richard then showed us a number of examples of his work. This illustrated how he was gradually developing his range of work using different materials and techniques. The examples included 3D effects with different layers of card, various types and colour of card and a range of different subjects. Some work involved the use of copper sheet which could be burnished and heat treated to produce different effects. All his work displayed a strong design with simple, iconic images.

Richard then took us through his process for producing his art works and his tools of the trade. His key tool is a scalpel knife with a 10A blade. He starts by sketching the basic design, which needs to be a continuous line which can be cut out in one piece. From the sketch he produces a template which is used to cut out the card. In general he draws the template on his computer so that the image is then available for multiple uses. The image is built up by cutting each element from the chosen colour card and then assembled to create the overall image, each piece being glued in place.

Richard emphasised that the overall process is quite simple but clearly needs a great deal of care and patience, especially for the more complex pieces. Key to it’s success is the strength of the eye catching designs.

Martin Bowden – Saturday 17th November 2019
Our President, Martin Bowden gave us a most interesting and instructive talk on the Post Impressionists who followed the last exhibition of Impressionism in 1886. After that date Impressionism petered out, Renoir and Degas had gone away and generally the movement ran out of steam. Post Impressionism took it’s place and 4 artists dominated with their ideas of painting, getting into the realms of the imagination, arbitary colours and the painting of ideas. These men were Gauguin, Van Gogh, Seurat and Paul Cezanne. Cezanne was arguably the most influential because he influenced later artists such as Matisse, Braque and Picasso and subtly influenced the start of Cubism.

Martin spoke of Gauguin and his search for the primitive, his bizarre private life and his journey to Tahiti. He discussed Van Gogh and Seurat with interesting anecdotes about their backgrounds. The background of the fourth artist was particularly interesting. Cezanne had a long liaison with a woman who he finally married. He was wealthy, which from 1886 allowed him to live in the south of France on his own terms, painting only when and what he wished. Finally Martin showed and discussed examples of his landscapes, still life paintings and portraits.

After discussing Van Gogh and before Cezanne he brought us nearer to the twentieth century with a discussion of Edvard Munch, well known for the Scream, and on again to Gustav Moreau whose visionary paintings show an obsession with the macabre and the life of the imagination.

Local exhibitions

The Gardens Gallery will be having a showcase exhibition 24th-29th January 10am-4pm if anyone would like to go to meet and see some of the artists who have previously exhibited there.

  • The first week in April, Leanne Courtney-Crowe will be having her first solo exhibition at The Dove Gallery, No 6. High Street, Winchcombe. You are invited to pop in and say hello. Open daily Friday 3rd – 9th April  9.30am – 5.30pm (closing 1pm on Thursday 9th) There will be an evening reception on Friday 3rd 6pm-8pm – please let Leanne know if you wish to attend the evening by emailing her atleanne@wildandabstract.com or phoning and leaving a message on 01242 807787

Share Your News and Events
We are continually looking to make best use of our presence on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. These are used to communicate information that is short term and likely to continually change. We are keen to hear from members about their own activities such as exhibitions, workshops or anything else relevant that we can add to the Club social media sites. This helps the Club by providing a source of new information which helps to keep the pages live. If you have anything suitable you wish to advertise or share please forward it on to Leanne Courtney-Crowe and Lynda Merrett. 

Further Afield
Exhibitions you may be interested in:
Gaugin & the Impressionists                                                    Royal Academy – 29 Mar to 14 Jun
Cezanne: The Rock & Quarry Paintings                                                Royal Academy – 12 Jul to 18 Oct
Andy Warhol                                                                                   Tate Modern – 12 Mar to 6 Sep
Young Rembrandt                                                                         Ashmolean, Oxford – 27 Feb to 2 Jun
Turner’s Modern World                                                             Tate Britain – 28 Oct to 7 Mar 2021
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham & the Artists of                       RWA, Bristol – 14 Mar to 24 May
St. Ives
Cezanne & the Modern French Print                                    Barber Institute, Birmingham – 7 Feb to 7 Jun
Cornwall as a Crucible: Modernity and                                                Barber Institute, Birmingham – 19 Feb to 17 May
Internationalism in Mid-Century Britain

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